Damion DeRobbio helped to rescue Mackenzie N. Palmer from burning, Pulaski, Pennsylvania, April 22, 2004. Mackenzie, 6, was in a bedroom of her family’s one-story house after fire broke out in the adjoining living room at night. Her mother fled the house after conditions prevented her from reaching the bedroom. She alerted a neighbor, DeRobbio, 25, laborer, who responded to the scene. DeRobbio and an off-duty police officer who also responded attempted to gain entry to the house through a rear window, but they were unsuccessful. The officer then broke out a side window to Mackenzie’s room and, stepping on a chair, attempted to climb through, but his duty belt prevented him from clearing the narrow opening. DeRobbio then stepped on the chair, entered the smoke-filled bedroom through the window, and dropped to the floor. He crawled to Mackenzie’s bed, grasped her, then returned to the window with her. DeRobbio handed Mackenzie through the window to the officer, then exited the house through the window himself. Mackenzie was taken to the hospital, where she was detained for treatment of smoke inhalation. She recovered. DeRobbio sustained cuts to his knee and shoulders and minor smoke inhalation, and he too recovered.
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